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Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Dry Bags > Sea to Summit Stopper Dry Bag > Test Report by Kara Stanley

SEA TO SUMMIT STOPPER DRY BAG
TEST SERIES BY KARA STANLEY
LONG-TERM REPORT
June 05, 2013


CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kara Stanley
EMAIL: karguo (at) yahoo (dot) com
AGE: 30
LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

I have been hiking most of my life and backpacking since 2006. I have hiked mostly on the east coast, doing weekend trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Since moving to Arizona, my hikes have ranged from short desert hikes to overnight backpacking trips in the mountains. Recently I have taken up canyoneering and off-trail hiking/backpacking to spice things up. I currently use a solo non-free standing tent, canister stove, purification tabs, and lightweight trail runners, conditions permitting, to cut down on weight. My hikes are solo and range from an overnight trip to 4-5 nights on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 4
From Sea to Summit's website
Manufacturer: Sea To Summit
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.seatosummit.com
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: 4.4 oz (125 g)
Measured Weight: 4.8 oz (136 g)
Size Tested: 13L
Color Options: Blue (color being tested) Lime, and Yellow

Details from Sea To Summit's Website:

These fully welded dry bags are made with 210D nylon fabric with TPU lamination on the outer face for durability, water shedding, and abrasion resistance. The clean profile and oval base resists rolling and allows for easy packing. The high strength fabric is UV resistant and won’t crack in extreme cold.

* 210D nylon fabric with TPU laminate
* Durable & smooth water shedding exterior
* Waterproof TPU roll top closure does not wick moisture
* All welded construction for permanently sealed seams
* Features the patent pending Field Replacement Buckle with stainless steel pins
IMAGE 3
The empty bag compared to a 1 L bottle

Description (base) x height weight
Stopper Dry Bag 5L (7in x 4in) x 15in 4 oz/115g
Stopper Dry Bag 8L (5in x 8in) x 17in 3.6oz/101g
Stopper Dry Bag 13L (9in x 6in) x 20in 4.4oz/125g
Stopper Dry Bag 20L (11in x 7in) x 24in 6.3oz/180g
Stopper Dry Bag 35L (13in x 8in) x 28 in 8.5 oz/240g
Stopper Dry Bag 65L 15in x 10in) x 33in 11.5oz/327g

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The bag seems very heavy duty, yet light weight compared to other dry bags I have looked at in the past. The bag came with a sticker on the top detailing how to properly close the dry bag before using it. The sticker is removed before using it, but the roll top has the directions printed on as a quick reminder - " to seal roll at least 3 times then clip buckle."

IMAGE 2
The directions


One of the neat features for the product is the ability to replace the buckle should it break. This may extend the life of the bag as the bag cannot be sealed without the buckle.

IMAGE 5
Sealed Bag

Also once buckled, the buckled part makes for a nice handle for the bag.

TRYING IT OUT

IMAGE 1
Oval Shaped Bottom
I took this dry bag with me on a 3 day 45 mile ( 72 km) backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. I used it for my food - both to keep it dry should it rain (which it did not) and to protect the rest of my gear should I have a food packaging malfunction (which I did not). The first thing that I noticed was the oval shape made the packed bag into more of a box-shape instead of a tubular shape like my round bottomed dry does.

Once packed with food for three days, the dry bag fit nicely in the top of my backpack - sitting across the top parallel to the bottom on the backpack. During the trip when we would stop for food breaks, I did notice that the bag did not roll when laid flat, just as advertised!

The bag did not pick up any noticeable odors from the food, though my food was also packed in zip-lock bags.

Since I did not have a chance to field test it in wet conditions, I submerged the bag in a sink full of water to test the seal. I found that the seal held when the bag was held under water for a minute. When opened the bag after submerging it, I did notice a few drops of water at the mouth of the bag, but not evidence that the water had passed the seal.

SUMMARY

So far the bag as worked well. I haven't used it in wet conditions, but I am sure that I will have it with me in water canyons soon!

Pros

* Oval bottoms creates a flat shape
* Easy to use
* Was water tight when tested

Cons:

* None yet

My Long Term Report will be out in about 4 months time, so check back to see how this dry bag holds up! I would like to thank Sea to Summit and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this dry bag.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Superstition Mountains, Arizona
February 23-24, 2013
Distance: ~10 miles/~16 km
Elevation: 680 ft to 1,680 ft (207 m - 512 m)
Trail Conditions: About half of the trail was a maintained trail and half was off trail in a canyon bottom. The off trail portion required wading, rock-hopping and scrambling, and bushwhacking.
Weather: Everything - sunny, cloudy, a sprinkling of rain, and finally a few snow-flakes on the way out.
Temperatures: Highs about 65 F/18 C and lows about 32 F/0 C

Shake Tree Canyon, Arizona
March 17, 2013
Distance: 5 miles/ 8 km
Elevation: 2,000 ft to 4,957 ft (610 m to 1,511 m)
Trail Conditions: Maintained trail with loose rocks, off trail hiking down a canyon involving rappelling down flowing waterfalls.
Weather: Mostly cloudy and light rain
Temperatures: Highs about 65 F/18 C

Grand Canyon, Arizona
April 5-7, 2013
Distance: 18 miles/29 km
Elevation at trailhead: 2,260 ft to 7,260 ft (689 m to 2,213 m)
Trail Conditions: Maintained trail with lots of dust and sand
Weather: Sunny
Temperatures: Highs 80 F/27 C Lows 50 F/10 C

Havasupai, Arizona
April 25-27, 2013
Distance: 20 miles/32 km
Elevation: 3,862 ft to 5,172 ft (1,177m to 1,576 m)
Trail conditions: maintained trails that are dusty and sandy
Weather: Sunny
Temperatures: Highs in the 80's F/27 C Lows in the 50's F/10 C

Fossil Springs, Arizona
May 4-5, 2013
Distance: 8 miles/ 13km
Elevation: 4,200 ft/ to 5,580 ft (1,280 m to 1,701 m)
Trail conditions: old jeep track, with some loose rocks and rock hopping at the bottom of the canyon.
Weather: Sunny
Temperatures: Highs about 65 F/18 C and lows about 40 F/4 C

Parker Creek Canyon, Arizona
May 11, 2013
Distance: ~3 miles/4.8 km
Elevation: 2,000 ft to 2,964 ft (610 m to 903 m)
Trail Conditions: odd trail canyoneering day trip that involved swimming though pools and rappel down flowing waterfalls as well as boulder hopping.
Weather: Sunny
Temperature: Highs in the 80's F/27

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The bag preformed wonderfully in the field. On backpacking trips I used it to store my food in the event that it rained or one of my food bags ruptured.
IMAGE 1
Dry Bag at the end of a water filled canyon hike

I had plenty of room for 3 days worth of food for 2 people on my trip to Havasupai. We kept all our food in this bag suspended from a tree to attempt to keep crows, ravens, and rodents away. The first day this bag contained 3 cucumbers, 3 bell peppers, 4 apples, in addition to dried foods for breakfast and supper. I tied the bag up by the handle formed after snapping the buckles closed to seal the bag. I did not notice any strain on the seams of the bag and the buckles held the weight well.

Since rain is a somewhat rare occurrence here in the desert southwest, I took this dry bag on two day-long canyoneering trips where I knew that the bag would get wet from either being under a waterfall or swimming though deep pools in the creek bed. On both trips, I placed a dry set of clothes along with snacks in the dry bag and closed it. On each trip the bag got wet and on the trip through Shake Tree, also became somewhat dirty (see photo). However, everything inside the bag remained dry. At no point was the bag submerged for more than 5 minutes on either of these hikes, though the bag was wet or inside a wet backpack for 3-5 hours.

At the end of one trip, I did not immediately unpack my food and trash from the dry bag and the trash started to smell. Once I removed the trash, the smell still lingered, but after a thorough hand washing with dish soap and being left to air dry, the smell when away.

I found the dry sack easy to use and it has become my staple food bag for my backpacking trips. I find it handy to have all my food in the dry sack during the hike and then at camp it is easy to transfer the food to a storage container or to hang the dry sack from a tree.

SUMMARY

This dry sack has performed well in the field. It has kept my items dry in wet conditions and has not failed. I have not found noticeable signs of wear anywhere on the bag and the buckles work as well now as they did when I first got the bag in December, 2012. This dry sack has earned its place among my backpacking and canyoneering gear and I will continue to use it in the future.

Thank you BackpackGearTest.org and Sea to Summit for the chance to test this product.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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